Many global businesses have international trading partners. These supply chains extend to hundreds of countries. Detailed records are kept of these import export transactions.
This is great for commerce and sourcing the right vendors. But one issue always on the mind of business owners – competitors. Anyone can look up your shipment data. Details include – who, where, what and when. Unfortunately, it’s all public information online.
U.S. Customer and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for keeping shipments in/out of the country safe. Without question, they have a huge responsibility. As part of their procedures all goods are identified along with the importer and exporter.
You’ve completed these bills of lading and customs house paperwork many times. All of your product codes, tariff codes, units, shipper details and receiver details are documented.
Several companies specialize in aggregating this data and selling it to industrial spies. One company includes data from 1 billion shipment records and 8,000,000 companies. Think of SITC, NAICS and tariff codes. Details of those high value electronic components you have coming from Hamburg Germany to Charleston S.C. is available for sale.
You’d prefer to keep those shipments confidential. Ask, “how do I do it?” Another corporation or LLC is public info. Anyone spying only needs to visit the Secretary of State business filings. It’s easy to find your company’s officers, managers, or resident agent online.
Your best solution for confidential shipments is a Business Trust Company as Nominee.
They are not registered with the Secretary of State. They do get an EIN and business bank account. The customs broker forms never have business trust option. Since your Business Trust is likely taxed as a corporation, and there is no box for business trust – just check corporation with EIN.
Shipment details remain correct in the Customs & Border Protection (CPB) database. Important data related to the US economy remains intact. What’s missing is who you are to nosy outsiders. Omit that easily searched Corporation or LLC. Use an unlisted Business Trust for all your import and export transactions. Or, strategically use it selectively to sandbag competitors.
Create a private and anonymous nominee for your shipments. It’s easy. Just use a business trust company.